The Asatru Moral Code:
The Task of the Warrior
Being a warrior is not an achievement. It is a task that must be undertaken again every day, every hour, every minute. It takes great strength and determination to gain the self-discipline of a warrior, but without the guidance of a moral code, strength is impotent and determination can gain nothing. A moral code balances self-interest with altruistic values. Though bravery and dedication are essential qualities for a warrior, hospitality and mercy are equally important.
The Nine Noble Virtues
The rewards of applying self-discipline guided by a moral code under ordinary circumstances are health, harmony, and prosperity. In adverse circumstances, the resilience gained by following a moral path of self-discipline ensures readiness to protect self, home, loved ones, and the weak and helpless. A Warrior’s dedication to the Asatru Moral Code becomes the focal point around which all aspects of life revolve. But without constant vigilance and self-awareness, the Code will fail. These are the nine virtues of a noble life a warrior must undertake:
Drawing further from poems found in the Elder Edda (The Hávamál and The Sigrdrífomál) are the Nine Charges of a Warrior. These Charges complement and expand on the simple ideals of the Virtues. The Nine Charges, from which the earliest Christian knights and nobility drew their paler ideals of Chivalry, cover every situation a warrior might encounter. Although the concepts were written for ages long gone by, they are universal and still apply even in these modern times.
The Charges were written with high expectations of personal honor, but also with a great deal of common sense. Being a Warrior doesn’t mean you should fight over trivialities. Being a Warrior often means turning away from foolish provocations. This is not the same as the Christian commandment to ‘turn the other cheek’. There is no sense of self-sacrifice involved, only self-discipline and self-control. A warrior does not allow him- or herself to act without wise consideration of the consequences of their actions.
The Nine Charges
1. To maintain candour and fidelity in love and devotion to the tried friend: though he strike me I will do him no scathe.
2. Never to make wrongsome oath: for great and grim is the reward for the breaking of plighted troth.
3. To deal not hardly with the humble and the lowly.
4. To remember the respect that is due to great age.
5. To suffer no evil to go unremedied and to fight against the enemies of Faith, Folk and Family: my foes I will fight in the field, nor will I stay to be burnt in my house.
6. To succour the friendless but to put no faith in the pledged word of a stranger people.
7. If I hear the fool's word of a drunken man I will strive not: for many a grief and the very death groweth from out such things.
8. To give kind heed to dead men: straw dead, sea dead or sword dead.
9. To abide by the enactments of lawful authority and to bear with courage the decrees of the Norns.
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